The Swahili Coast refers to a coastal area in Southeast Africa inhabited by the Swahili people. It mainly consists of littoral Kenya, Tanzania and northern Mozambique. The term may also include some of the Indian Ocean islands, such as Zanzibar, Pate and Comoros, which lie off the Swahili Coast. The Swahili Coast has a distinct culture, demography, religion and geography, and as a result - along with other factors, including economic - has witnessed rising secessionism.
The major settlements of the Swahili Coast include:
- Dar es Salaam
- Mafia Island
Parts of the area that is today considered Swahili Coast was known as Azania or Zingion in the Greco-Roman era, and as Zanj or Zinj in Middle Eastern and Chinese literature from the 7th to the 14th century. The description of this area in texts from the Middle East and China can be attributed to the trade that this region participated in over the Indian Ocean. Another indication of Indian Ocean trade the Swahili Coast participated in is the presence of pot shards that can be traced back to China and India.  The Swahili Coast's development can be understood by this trade with the Indian Ocean World. Utilizing the World-systems theory, this trade worked to develop this region from a periphery to a semi-periphery from the sixth to the tenth century. The influx of capital to this region through trade resulted in its development, and ultimately its downfall as it was so reliant upon that trade that the shifting of global systems resulted in its decline late in the 15th century.  Historical documents that describe the society, culture, and economy of this area include the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea as well as works by Ibn Battuta.
- "Contagion of discontent: Muslim extremism spreads down east Africa coastline," The Economist (3 November 2012)
- Felix A. Chami, "Kaole and the Swahili World," in Southern Africa and the Swahili World (2002), 6.
- BBC Kilwa Pot Sherds http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/about/transcripts/episode60/
- Philippe Beaujard "East Africa, the Comoros Islands and Madagascar before the sixteenth century, Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa" (2007), 15.
- Philippe Beaujard "East Africa, the Comoros Islands and Madagascar before the sixteenth century, Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa" (2007), 20.
- Philippe Beaujard "East Africa, the Comoros Islands and Madagascar before the sixteenth century, Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa" (2007), 28.
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